Based on the aggregated intelligence of 170,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, telecom behemoth AT&T (NYSE: T) has received a distressing two-star ranking.

With that in mind, let's take a closer look at AT&T's business and see what CAPS investors are saying about the stock right now.

AT&T facts

Headquarters (Founded) Dallas (1983)
Market Cap $182.1 billion
Industry Integrated telecommunication services
Trailing-12-Month Revenue $124.28 billion
Management

Chairman/CEO Randall Stephenson

CFO Richard Lindner

Return on Equity (Average Past 3 Years) 9.5%
Cash/Debt $1.44 billion / $66.2 billion
Dividend Yield 5.6%
Competitors

Sprint Nextel (NYSE: S)

Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ)

Sources: Capital IQ (a division of Standard & Poor's) and Motley Fool CAPS.

On CAPS, 8% of the 5,420 members who have rated AT&T believe the stock will underperform the S&P 500 going forward. These bears include All-Star leohaas, who is ranked in the top 5% of our community, and DrJoelMD.

Late last month, leohaas tapped AT&T's recent purchase as a very good reason to be scared: "Buying T-Mobile? Really? At this price? C'mon. Read this if you are a shareholder and get out NOW!"

Currently, AT&T even sports an EV/EBITDA ratio of 6.3. That represents a premium to rivals Sprint (5.0) and Verizon (4.4), as well as foreign counterparts like China Mobile (NYSE: CHL) (4.3) and VimpelCom (4.8).

CAPS member DrJoelMD elaborates on the bear case:

How can such a large company be so poorly run? Throttling data connections, no unlimited plan, lost the iPhone. ... With the TMo merger, they are officially a wireless company first. They have the worst wireless service and they are the most expensive. MANY of the TMobile customers that were with TMobile for the cheap plans will abandon ship. They will also lose their current customers once their contracts are up. Without the iPhone exclusivity now and the most expensive contracts in the business, I cant see them staying in business. On a side note, I was recently shopping around to potentially switch carriers, ATT was the worst customer service of them all and I talked to three different people there. The merger may make them No. 1 but between the poor service ... and cost, they wont stay there very long.

What do you think about AT&T, or any other stock for that matter? If you want to retire rich, you need to protect your portfolio from any undue risk. Staying away from dangerous stocks is crucial to securing your financial future, and on Motley Fool CAPS, thousands of investors are working every day to flag them. CAPS is 100% free, so get started!

Fool contributor Brian Pacampara owns no position in any of the companies mentioned. China Mobile is a Motley Fool Global Gains pick, and the Fool owns shares of it. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

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